From: Anne Margulies, Assistant Secretary and CIO
Martin Benison, Comptroller

Date: May 16, 2008

Re: Advisory Memorandum - Microsoft Windows VISTA and Internet Explorer v. 7.0


The Commonwealth CIO and Comptroller are issuing this Advisory Memorandum regarding the possible implications of Microsoft Windows VISTA on year-end acquisitions of software, Desktop PCs and Laptops. Agencies should note that most vendors automatically ship PCs configured with the latest Microsoft Windows VISTA operating system unless requested to do otherwise. Please be advised that ITD has not, as of yet, done any formal or rigorous testing of MS VISTA and Internet Explorer 7.0 (IE7) to identify any potential security or enterprise application compatibility issues.

Based on some preliminary research, Agencies should take the following things into consideration when evaluating whether or not to deploy MS VISTA or to purchase software that may need to run on an MS VISTA operating system.

  • Enterprise Systems: MMARS will not be compatible with IE7 until it is upgraded in October 2008
  • Enterprise Systems: PeopleSoft does not acknowledge any incompatibilities between HRCMS and IE7, but will not support any issues that arise.
  • Enterprise Systems: There are known issues with current published VISTA ODBC drivers that make the new information warehouse platform, Netezza, inaccessible by query tools utilized by various agencies.
  • Administrative Tools: Some commonly used administrative tools may not yet have MS VISTA-compliant versions.
  • Drive Mapping: Some of the security functionality included in MS VISTA may require a change in the way users are provided access to map network drives.
  • Driver Incompatibility: Some drivers have not yet been released in MS VISTA compatible versions. This may result in incompatibilities between MS VISTA and some critical devices or applications.
  • IE7: Users running on MS VISTA may not be able to use Internet Explorer 6 without the use of a virtual machine.


Therefore, we do not recommend implementing VISTA or IE 7 at this time without first carefully evaluating the impact to your agency's critical business systems.